San Francisco’s Democratic County Central Committee voted Thursday for civil rights lawyer and former San Francisco Police Commission member John Hamasaki to support incumbent DA Brooke Jenkins, as urban politics continue to be divided following the recall of Chesa Boudin earlier this year.
In June, voters in San Francisco ousted former DA Chesa Boudin in a landslide recall election for policies that had sent crime rates soaring in the city and allowed many arrested criminals to go unpunished. The former assistant prosecutor was picked by London Mayor Breed next month, and Pudding criticized Jenkins as the next MP until November’s special election. Despite some early problems, Jenkins was quick to reverse many of Boudin’s key policies, infuriating many of the city’s progressives who watched years of DA policy change work in an instant.
As Jenkins entered the special election in August, several other contenders joined the race, including Ayumi Hamasaki and fellow lawyer Joe Alito Veronese. While Ayumi Hamasaki appears to be a controversial choice, in large part because he was a critic of the SFPD and resigned from the SF Police Commission in March for not doing certain things he wanted to do , his civil rights record and police oversight record won the support of many Democrats. That led to Hamasaki’s first support from the Democratic Alliance on Thursday, followed by Veronese’s second from the Democratic Party.Jenkins Did not get votessurprised many in the SFDCCC poll.
I realize this tweet was a bit incoherent in my excitement.To clarify: The San Francisco Democrat just backed @hamazaki law For SF DA.Not a single member of the San Francisco Democratic Party, including Congressional and local leaders, voted @BrookeJenkinsSF for DA. Wow.
— Rachel Marshall (@RachelRMarshall) September 29, 2022
San Francisco Democrats back Hamasaki, Veronese over Jenkins
“I am very honored to have all the first-place votes from the San Francisco Democrats to be the next San Francisco District Attorney,” Hamasaki said after the vote. “I’m certainly not an establishment candidate, but this support shows that the San Francisco Democrats, on the Tired of politics as usual, like most of San Francisco. Tired of corruption, insider trading, behind-the-scenes politics and dark money backers. We need public safety and accountability in San Francisco, but we need to go beyond politics.”
Second-choice candidate Velonese added: “It is remarkable that they reject the Democrats outright to act as Democrats. It shows that her own party, the Democrats, neither trusts nor trusts her. Not a single Democrat voted for Brooke. Jenkins. Not one. She’s not even their second choice! Jenkins’ political connections can’t overcome her failure as a prosecutor. Her record of inaction, unethical behavior, failed prosecutions, and the release of her killer speaks for itself. We need Save San Francisco, the Democrats have made it clear: Brooke Jenkins can’t save San Francisco.”
The Jenkins campaign fought back later in the day, noting that the DCCC supported keeping Pudding as a DA, while not supporting Jenkins in retaliation for her efforts to oust Pudding and subsequently accept his job and ditch his policies left and right.
“District Attorney Jenkins is proud to have won the support of leading Democrats like Sen. Scott Weiner and Bay Area reporters because they believe she is restoring accountability and safety in San Francisco,” the Jenkins campaign said. “Unfortunately, the DCCC has always been driven by political ideology. They opposed the Bourdain recall, only backing a candidate who called for the defunding of the District Attorney’s Office he was running for. They do not represent what most San Francisco people are asking for concern for public safety.”
Frank Ma, a former law enforcement official who is now a corporate security adviser for San Francisco and Peninsula Cities, added in an interview with the Globe on Friday: “Democrats on the left don’t want to admit that Jenkins is at work because she’s taking down all those cloths. Dan policy. But ask anyone on the street, they’re glad the police are chasing these criminals again. They’re glad they’re going to jail. We’re starting to see more and more people walking around town and people parking their cars without worry Will be broken in. She needs more time, but the general consensus is that she is doing a good job. Recognition may not be as important as it used to be. People still remember Boudin.”
The SF DA special election will be held on Election Day, November 8.